NetzDG: Opposition procedure for social networks takes effect


Another part of the latest amendment to the Network Enforcement Act (NetzDG) ​​has been in effect since Friday: If there are different opinions between a user and the provider of a social network as to whether or not a reported content must be deleted, members can now apply for a “counter-presentation procedure”. Facebook, Twitter & Co. are therefore obliged to review their decisions about the deletion or retention of posts at the request of those affected.

The condition also applies if a provider does not delete content that has been reported as illegal and makes a decision on the basis of its terms and conditions. The operators must give reasons for the result of their decision-making to the person concerned “in each individual case”.

With the “put-back mechanism”, the platforms should ensure “that the identity of the complainant and the user are not disclosed in the proceedings”. The name and address must not be forwarded to the user “for whom the content is saved” “inadvertently with the request”. The providers do not necessarily have to inform the respective opposing party of the receipt of such a request if they do not want to remedy it – for example in the event of a misuse of the procedure. This is to protect against “spam”. Legal recourse to the courts remains “unaffected in every stage of the proceedings”.

For video sharing services such as YouTube, the counter-presentation procedure for user-generated clips and programs has been in place since the end of June. The majority of the NetzDG reform came into force at this point in time. The network operators must also provide information to researchers as to the extent to which the dissemination of illegal content “leads to specific affected groups of users”. The service providers should state in public reports whether they have given science information about “organized structures or coordinated behavior”, for example from agitators.

On October 1st, the regulations for stricter action against cyberstalking and the new criminal offense of operating criminal trading platforms on the Internet came into force. Anyone who knowingly or intentionally provides server infrastructures for this purpose can make themselves a criminal offense. Parts of the law for fair consumer contracts have also been in effect since Friday. Companies must document in this way when consumers have consented to telephone advertising. Violations are now an administrative offense and can be punished with a fine. This is intended to facilitate the official procedure against unauthorized telephone advertising.


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